• Kids

The chemicals to avoid in baby products

Confused by which baby products are better than others? Here are the top ingredients to steer clear of

The baby moisturisers, wipes, bath washes and balms you choose may be labelled ‘gentle on the skin’, ‘natural’ or ‘clean’ however many contain chemicals too much for a baby’s immature immune system and metabolism to cope with, says Wot Not co-founder Sinead Roberts. Here are her top 5 chemicals to avoid in baby products.

  1. Fragrance

Fragrances (synthetic and natural) are amongst the leading causes of allergy and irritation in skincare products.

“A baby’s skin smells beautiful naturally so there’s no need for fragranced products really, plus you want your baby to look for your scent, not an artificial one,’’ Sinead says.

  1. Parabens

Parabens, for example Propylparaben and Methylparaben are a group of chemicals that are used as preservatives in personal care products like baby shampoos and lotions.

“These have been linked to endocrine disruption, which can cause reproductive problems, including a decrease in sperm motility and concentration, as well as being linked to allergies and asthma,’’ Sinead says.


“This is a chemical by-product, so you won’t spot it on a label. It’s linked to organ toxicity and skin allergies. Avoid products containing sodium laureth sulfate and PEG (polyethylene glycols)compounds,’’ Sinead says.

  1. Oxybenzone

A chemical that’s commonly used in sunscreen.

“It’s an endochrine disruptor and has been linked to endometriosis and reproductive problems and the lowering of sperm production in teen boys,’’ Sinead says.

  1. Mineral oil

Conventional baby oil is essentially made of mineral oil mixed with fragrance, which is an unhealthy combination.  

“Mineral oil is a cheap by-product of petroleum processing and acts as a plastic wrap on the skin, inhibiting the skin’s ability to release toxins,’’ Sinead says.


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